I have a secret fantasy that one day I will have a large garden, and in that large garden I will grow a massive amount of pumpkins and gourds so that they all ripen in time to decorate my porch for fall. But the thought does occur to me that it would be a waste not to use them for food in some way as well, so I am determined to discover how to use pumpkin in a multitude of ways.
To begin using pumpkin in baked goods (muffins-pie-bread) we need to learn how to make pumpkin puree from scratch. It’s actually very simple, so have no fear.
It’s best to start with small pie or sugar pumpkins, as they’ll have the most flavor. In general, the larger you let a fruit or vegetable get, the less sugar it has left to spare when you eat it. However, if the only pumpkin you have is a large one, that will work as well.
First, you’ll need to cut the top of the pumpkin off in the same way you would for carving Jack-O-Lanterns, then cut into fourths.
Next, scrape out all the seeds (save for seasoned pumpkin seed snacks, or to use for planting a massive pumpkin garden later).
Prepare a steamer pot by filling a pot with 3-4 inches of water and placing a steaming basket inside. Turn the fire to high and cut the cleaned out pumpkin into smaller pieces. Place the pieces in the steamer basket and cover with a lid.
Many people suggest you roast your pumpkin, but I have tried it both with roasting and steaming and there’s no contest. Steaming yields better flavor in half the time, and the skins come off easier. This is also a great way to prepare butternut squash.
Cook for 25 min, or until they are soft all the way through when stabbed by a fork, and the skin peels off easily.
Peel all the pumpkin pieces and place into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Take your beautiful pumpkin puree and store in jars, plastic tubs, or ziplock baggies to be used in baked goodies later. You can freeze pumpkin in a freezer ziplock bag for up to 1 year, before it starts to affect the flavor of your baked goods.I'm learning how to make #pumpkin puree from scratch. Click To Tweet
- Sugar or "Pie" Pumpkins
- Wash pumpkins to remove loose dirt.
- Cut the top of the pumpkin off, and then cut it into fourths.
- Scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin, then cut into smaller pieces.
- Prepare a steamer pot and place pumpkin pieces into the steamer basket.
- Steam for 25 min, or until pumpkin pieces are soft all the way through when poked with a fork, and the skin peels off easily.
- Remove from basket and peel the pumpkin pieces.
- Place the pieces into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an air tight container.
- Pumpkin can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.